Maryland officials seek public input on the state’s Climate Pathway report, which provides a roadmap for achieving its ambitious climate goals. The report outlines various options for Maryland to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2031 compared to 2006 levels, as mandated by the Climate Solutions Now Act passed last year. The act aims to establish a net-zero carbon economy by 2045, positioning Maryland as a leader in climate action.

According to the Climate Pathway report, meeting these climate goals will contribute to a greener future and bring substantial health benefits and economic growth. By 2031, the report estimates that Maryland’s efforts will yield over a billion dollars in health benefits. Additionally, the state can expect to generate more than 16,000 new jobs by 2031, significantly boosting personal income and GDP growth.

The report’s lead author, Kathleen Kennedy, an assistant research professor at the University of Maryland, highlighted the economic analysis conducted in collaboration with the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson. Kennedy explained, “They use another secondary model, which said that this pathway can provide significant new jobs, over 16,000 cumulatively through 2031, as well as significant benefits for personal income and GDP growth.”

To gather feedback and engage with the public, the Maryland Department of the Environment will host a series of public outreach sessions across the state in the coming months. These sessions will allow stakeholders, community organizations, business leaders, and Marylanders to contribute their thoughts and opinions on the report’s recommendations.

Serena McIlwain, Maryland’s Secretary of the Environment, emphasized the importance of inclusive participation, stating, “We want to hear from everyone; we want to hear from stakeholders and Marylanders. This listening session is an opportunity for us to hear even more of what you’re thinking and what it will take for us to put these options into action.”

The Climate Pathway report emphasizes the need for an “all-of-society approach” to tackle the climate crisis effectively. It calls for collaboration among state and federal entities, cities, counties, businesses, and community organizations. These diverse stakeholders can create a comprehensive strategy to achieve Maryland’s climate goals by working together.

Despite significant progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as highlighted in the report, Maryland faces challenges as existing policies expire before 2040. Without sustained efforts, emissions could begin to rise again by mid-century. The state must implement robust, long-term policies to maintain momentum and ensure a sustainable future.

Maryland’s Climate Pathway report sets a clear direction for the state’s climate goals. Maryland aims to create a resilient and environmentally responsible future by involving the public and fostering collaboration across sectors. The input received during the public outreach sessions will play a crucial role in shaping the state’s approach to climate action. With innovative solutions and collective efforts, Maryland is poised to lead the way in addressing the urgent challenges of climate change.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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